Football: Chance for Palace to narrow the gap

Nationwide League
Click to follow
The Independent Online
If it is goals you want, Burnden Park is the only place to be today. Bolton Wanderers and their visitors, Crystal Palace, are not only the top two teams in the First Division but also the country's leading scorers.

While Bolton head the table, Palace, with 39 goals, have scored one more than Colin Todd's team. With Norwich slipping recently, Palace have climbed into second place and would move to within a point of Bolton if they win today.

Although they lost 3-1 at Birmingham in midweek, Bolton have an awesome home record, having won eight and drawn one at Burnden Park this season.

Todd dismissed the result at St Andrews as "a hiccup" and expects a game full of incident this afternoon. "Palace are an attack-minded and exciting side, very similar to us," he said.

Bolton will give a home debut to John Sheridan, who is on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, and recall their goalkeeper, Keith Branagan, after suspension. Alan Thompson is still banned, while Per Frandsen and Gudni Bergsson face fitness tests.

Palace are likely to be unchanged, although Ray Houghton, who has been out for several weeks with a leg injury, is near to full fitness again and travels with the squad.

Mike Walker, the Norwich manager, is likely to make changes for the visit of Reading. Ian Crook and Danny Mills are expected to make way for Keith O'Neill and Carl Bradshaw.

Norwich lost in midweek to Barnsley, who are now fourth. Danny Wilson is likely to keep an unchanged side as he attempts to preserve the country's only unbeaten away record at Swindon.

Comments